This is a post about the Tumblr A:TLA Annotated (atla-annotated.tumblr.com) and Avatar: The Last Airbender (and Legend of Korra) in general.
I learned in art school that, in a painting, every and any detail could mean something. (And with that meaning comes value? Something like that…) Turns out, as this blog points out, Avatar: The Last Airbender (and by extension, Legend of Korra) works the same way. Everything means something, or is referenced from something.
How clothes are folded on a person, the architectural details of each nation, the feet of the table in Uncle Iroh’s tea shop, the characters on the wall of the Beifong residence, the number of pillars in the Fire Nation Palace Throne Room, even the kind of food Sokka eats. Avatar = Dalai Lama? Air Nomads = Tibet? Republic City = Shanghai + Hongkong? That’s just scratching the surface!
My respect for this series and its creators has gone through the roof (and to the mooon!). What a masterpiece.
The blog also shows how much of an asshole M. Night Shyamalan really is. (It’s worse than any of us thought.)
Chinese characters? Nope. Meaningless scribbles.
Fire Nation? Remove all Chinese references, replace with Roman references, make them more advanced, more badass but less villainous, and then cast as INDIANS. And then, remove all Dalai Lama references on the Avatar, and then blame the Avatar for the war itself.
The squalor Southern Water Tribe? Cast as Inuit.
The affluent Northern Water Tribe? Cast as white people.
I will never forgive M. Night Shyamalan for this. All that meaning and value from the series, gone.
Anyway, check out A:TLA Annotated! (Photo from the blog)